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Listen and feel for airway obstruction: Airway Obstruction Treatment According to Resuscitation Council , airway obstruction is a medical emergency. Expert help should be called immediately as untreated airway obstruction can rapidly lead to cardiac arrest, hypoxia, damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and even death. Once airway obstruction has been identified, treat appropriately. Breathing B Breathing function should only be assessed and managed after the airway has been judged as adequate. The following steps can be used to assess breathing: Assessing Breathing Look for the general signs of respiratory distress such as sweating, the effort needed to breathe, abdominal breathing and central cyanosis.

The respiratory rate should be measured by counting the number of breaths that a patient takes over one minute through observing the rise and fall of the chest. A high respiratory rate is a marker of illness or an early warning sign that the patient may be deteriorating Resuscitation Council Assess the depth of each breath the patient takes, the r hythm of breathing and whether chest movement is equal on both sides. However, the pulse oximeter does not detect hypercapnia carbon dioxide retention Resuscitation Council UK This test provides a valuable respiratory assessment about the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide in the blood and the blood PH.

The test provides more in-depth information about the effectiveness of respiratory function than pulse oximetry Mallet Assess air entry using a stethoscop e to confirm whether air is entering the lungs, whether both lungs have equal air entry and whether there are any additional abnormal breath sounds such as wheezing and crackles Mallet Treatment The specific treatment of respiratory disorders depends upon the cause.

Patient history

However, regardless of the cause, expert help should be called immediately Resuscitation Council Circulation C Assessment of circulation should be undertaken only once the airway and breathing have been assessed and appropriately treated. Causes of Poor Circulation Possible causes include: Heart rate is usually felt by palpating the pulse from an artery that lies near the surface of the skin, such as the radial artery in the wrist.

The pulse should be felt for presence, rate, quality and regularity Smith If there are any abnormalities detected such as thread pulse, then a 12 lead electrocardiogram ECG should be undertaken Mallet If a patient has a raised temperature, it is important to understand the reason for this, as the treatment will vary depending on the cause Mallet Capillary refill time CRT: Look for other signs of a poor cardiac output such as a decreased level of consciousness. Ensure that the patient has an intravenous cannula so that emergency fluids and medicines can be administered more efficiently.

Detailed nursing assessment of specific body system s relating to the presenting problem or current concern s of the patient. This may involve one or more body system. An admission assessment should be completed by the nurse with a parent or care giver, ideally upon arrival to the ward or preadmission, but must be completed within 24hours of admission. Privacy of the patient needs to be considered all times.

Recent overseas travel should be discussed and documented.

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Clinical Guidelines (Nursing) : Nursing assessment

For neonates and infants consider maternal history, antenatal history, delivery type and complications if any, Apgar score, resuscitation required at delivery and Newborn Screening Tests see Child Health Record for documentation. This should occur on admission and then continue to be observed throughout the patients stay in hospital.

Considerations for all patients include: Ongoing assessment of vital signs are completed as indicated for your patient. It is mandatory to review the ViCTOR graph at least every 2 hours or as patient condition dictates to observe trending of vital signs and to support your clinical decision making process. A structured physical examination allows the nurse to obtain a complete assessment of the patient.

Clinical judgment should be used to decide on the extent of assessment required. Assessment information includes, but is not limited to: At the commencement of every shift an assessment is completed on every patient and this information is used to develop a plan of care.

Initial shift assessment is documented on the patient care plan and further assessments or changes to be documented in the progress notes. Patient assessment commences with assessing the general appearance of the patient. Use observation to identify the general appearance of the patient which includes level of interaction, looks well or unwell, pale or flushed, lethargic or active, agitated or calm, compliant or combative, posture and movement. A detailed nursing assessment of specific body system s relating to the presenting problem or other current concern s required.

Nursing staff should utilise their clinical judgement to determine which elements of a focussed assessment are pertinent for their patient. A comprehensive neurological nursing assessment includes neurological observations, growth and development including fine and gross motor skills, sensory function, seizures and any other concerns. Respiratory illness in children is common and many other conditions may also cause respiratory distress. Assessment of severity of respiratory conditions Respiratory assessment includes:.

Ensure stomach is not full at time of assessment as this may induce vomiting. Be aware that during periods of rapid growth, children complain of normal muscle aches.

Nursing assessment

Assessment of ear, nose, throat and mouth is essential as upper respiratory infections, allergies; oral or facial trauma, dental caries and pharyngitis are common in children. This includes a thorough examination of the oral cavity. The examination of the throat and mouth is completed last in younger, less cooperative children. In the evaluation phase of assessment, ensure the information collected is complete, accurate and documented appropriately. The nurse must draw on critical thinking and problem solving skills to make clinical decisions and plan care for the patient being assessed.

If any abnormal findings are identified, the nurse must ensure that appropriate action is taken. This may include communicating the findings to the medical team, relevant allied health team and the ANUM in charge of the shift.


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Patients should be continuously assessed for changes in condition while under RCH care and assessments are documented regularly. Pain Assessment and Measurement clinical guideline. Eye care in PICU. Assessment of severity of respiratory conditions.

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Complete evidence table document here. Observing the sick child: Paediatric Nursing, 19 3 , Part 2b Respiratory palpation. Paediatric Nursing, 19 1 , The process of conducting a physical assessment: British Journal Of Nursing, 15 13 , Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking 10th ed. A lot of nerve: Journal of Emergency Medical Services, 34 3 , , 77, passim. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 8 3 , Neurological assessment of early infants. Current Pediatric Reviews, 5 2 , Respiratory assessment in critically ill patients: British Journal of Nursing, 18 8 , Journal of Pediatric Healthcare, 21 3 , Cardiovascular assessment in children: Paediatric Nursing, 22 1 , Essentials of Pediatric Nursing 2nd ed.

The value and role of skin and nail assessment in the critically ill. Nursing in Critical Care, 11 2 , Why do it and how to do it? British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 5 11 , British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 6 11 , More key skills to improve care. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 6 2 , Revisiting developmental assessment of children.

Irish Medical Journal, 5 , The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne.


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Aim The aim of this guideline is to ensure all RCH patients receive consistent and timely nursing assessments. The guideline specifically seeks to provide nurses with: Indications for assessment Approach to assessment in children Types of assessments Structure for assessments Definition of Terms Admission assessment: Introduce yourself to the child and family and establish rapport. Use play techniques for infants and young children. Examine least intrusive areas first i. However the clinical need of the assessment should also be considered against the need for the child to rest.

For a stable child it may be appropriate to delay assessments until the child is awake.

Causes of Airway Obstruction

Throughout the assessment process, the nurse should refer any serious concerns to the ANUM and to medical team. Admission Assessment An admission assessment should be completed by the nurse with a parent or care giver, ideally upon arrival to the ward or preadmission, but must be completed within 24hours of admission. Less than 6 months use digital thermometer per axilla. Assess any respiratory distress.

Palpate brachial pulse preferred in neonates or femoral pulse in infant and radial pulse in older children. To ensure accuracy, count pulse for a full minute. Baseline measurement should be obtained for every patient.